Comparing Florida nursing homes can be a hard and trying task for families and their loved ones. Florida’s state nursing home rankings are free online, and are one of many good tools available for those looking at a nursing home. This guide will walk through the basic process of finding these rankings, as well as interpreting what they mean.
First go to the Florida Nursing Home Guide main page and click on the “Compare Inspection Ratings” link:
Then select both “Inspection Rating” and “Search by geographic location”:
On the next page, the site will ask you to narrow down the area you are looking for – we will select Hillsborough County:
Once you’ve made your county selection, click “View Results”:
The site will return a list of nursing homes as well as “star rankings” in a number of categories.
This listing system can be confusing, so let’s clear up what this all means.
What is the star ranking system?
The stars are a ranking system based on how the nursing home compares to the rest of the nursing homes in the region. One star means the nursing home performed worse than about 80% of other facilities in the region, while five stars means the nursing home performed better than 80% of nursing homes in the region.
How are regions determined?
Tampa is considered “Region 6” which actually contains five counties: Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands counties. So, for example, a nursing home in Polk county wouldn’t be compared to those in Miami or Pensacola. Here’s a map of the different regions:
So now let’s look at an individual page for a nursing home. We’ll look at the first one in the list, Accentia Health and Rehabilitation. Some of the important pieces of information are in red:
First, one of the most important things people look for in a nursing home is whether private rooms are available. Here, the vast majority of the rooms are double occupancy. Also, it’s important to make sure that the state regulators haven’t had to take any emergency actions against the nursing home. Finally, you can review the state surveys as well as any legal actions and fines against the facility. Please note that the legal actions listed here do not include any nursing home negligence lawsuits brought by private parties – just the actions brought against nursing home by the state government.
In addition to researching nursing homes online, it is important before making any decision to take a physical tour of the nursing home and speak with the Administrator as well as the Director of Nursing. By doing so you can get a first-hand look at the cleanliness of the facility, and see for yourself if you are comfortable with the staff. Also consider eating a meal there and even talking to some of the residents about what their experience has been like.
Doing the right research and finding out if you and your loved one are comfortable with a particular nursing home at the beginning can prevent problems down the road.